Online learning has expanded dramatically over the last two decades. What used to be a niche higher education opportunity offered by only a handful of schools has become incredibly popular. Even before recent events with COVID-19 forced many into online learning, tens of thousands of students were choosing to enroll in an MBA or MSBA program online.
When you’re ready to advance your career, the program you choose can make a tremendous difference in your entire higher education experience and employment opportunities after graduation. Here are a few of the most important considerations to find the best online programs in Washington state.
Deciding if an Online Business Degree is Right for You
The first consideration is whether online learning is going to work for you. There isn’t a right or wrong answer, but before you look for the best online programs in Washington it’s good to understand what you need to be successful in an online learning environment.
Online course delivery is different from sitting in a classroom. Your professor and classmates are all on the other end of a computer screen and the lecture is delivered online. Online courses can be tailored to a variety of learning styles, from visual learners to those who prefer speech, writing, and sound.
Many online programs, including those at the Albers School of Business and Economics, also incorporate group learning. While you won’t sit together in a physical meeting room with others in the group, you still get the value of group work and team-based learning.
Online Learning Skills and Tools
One of the most significant benefits of online learning is the flexibility it offers. You can learn from literally anywhere in the world as long as you have a good internet connection and a computer. In addition to live lectures and team projects, many programs allow students to complete much of their coursework at their own pace. This allows you to tailor classes around your busy work and personal life.
Make sure you have all the tools you need to be successful in your program. At the top of the list is a reliable computer and a high-speed internet connection to access your online courses. Other things that can make a big difference might not be as obvious. For example, a dedicated space where you can study can help you focus when it’s time for schoolwork. Quality headphones to listen to lectures and block out distractions, especially if you live in a shared space or will be doing some of the work in public places, can also make a big difference.
Other Questions to Ask About Online Business Degrees
There are several other considerations to take into account before you decide on online business degrees. These things can have a significant impact on your overall experience.
Where are the best online business degrees? It’s a question many prospective graduate students ask, since MBA and MSBA programs are also available online in every state. You might think the location of the school doesn’t matter when you study online, but it can still make a difference in your overall educational experience and career outlook.
Campus location can influence the student body that you will study with, as well as the faculty who teach in an online program. The campus location can also provide business connections and relationships that benefit students after graduation. For example, studying at a well-known university in Seattle can help students who hope to land a job at top companies like Amazon, Microsoft, or Boeing—some of the largest corporations in the world that are all based in Washington.1 The name recognition and national reputation of a university as a place with a commitment to academic excellence can help you stand out in a crowded candidate field.
Online learning is remote, but the most successful online business students still engage with faculty and peers throughout the program. When considering all your options, learn more about how much interaction faculty have with students. For example at Seattle U, online students take part in an in-person MBA Residency Retreat or MSBA Residency Retreat. This is students’ opportunity to get to know their peers and instructors through team-building activities and events.
Accreditation in higher education is a way for universities to demonstrate their commitment to high standards for teaching and learning. It’s a voluntary process for schools that must be renewed every few years with the accrediting agency. Accreditation helps prospective students compare schools using unbiased metrics and criteria set by the accrediting body. It is also required for students enrolled at a specific school to be eligible for federal financial aid.
Look for regional accreditation first—there are six regional accrediting agencies throughout the U.S. that cover schools within a geographic area.2 Many schools also get specialized accreditation from national organizations that are more specific to certain degrees or areas of study. For a business school, check if they have AACSB accreditation for the MBA or MSBA program.3
Advance Your Career with an Online MBA
The Seattle University Albers School of Business and Economics offers the best online MBA and MSBA in Washington for business professionals ready to advance their career or explore new career opportunities. Learn more about Seattle U’s Online MBA and Online MSBA programs today and how they can help you get ahead.
- Retrieved on May 26, 2021, from bizjournals.com/seattle/subscriber-only/2020/06/19/largest-employers.html
- Retrieved on May 26, 2021, from chea.org/regional-accrediting-organizations
- Retrieved on May 26, 2021, from aacsb.edu/accreditation